Story Time for the 21st Century: Supporting Distant Family Communication

 Tico Ballagas, Senior Research Scientist - User Experience, Nokia Research Center


Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University October 29, 2010
, 12:50pm, Gates B03

Family Story Play is an interactive book-reading system designed for two-to-four-year-olds that couples videoconferencing with paper books and interactive content to support grandparents reading together with their grandchildren over the Internet. The Story Play system is designed to improve the amount and quality of interaction between children and distant grandparents by shifting interactions from conversation to shared activities. Ethnographic methods provide a rich understanding of current family practices. Findings from this research help the authors articulate the design rationale behind Story Play and express opportunities in a broader design space for family communication.


Tico Ballagas is a Senior Research Scientist and Designer in the IDEA team at Nokia Research Center, Palo Alto. His research is focused on applying human-centered iterative design processes to ubiquitous computing. He is interested in rapid prototyping tools, evaluation methods, and most importantly building novel ubiquitous computing applications and services that address real human needs. Tico has been working in the mobile industry since 1997, originally as a member of the development team of Motorola's PageWriter 2000 -- the world's first two-way pager -- which has been ranked #13 on PC World's "The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the past 50 Years". He earned his Doctorate in computer science at RWTH Aachen University in Germany with a focus on designing, prototyping, and evaluating ubiquitous computing applications and interaction techniques. During his PhD he deployed REXplorer, a pervasive game for tourists in Regensburg, Germany. He completed his B.S. with highest honors in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech, and M.S. from Stanford University.

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